On Tuesday, India and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at encouraging innovation and accelerating the development of dual-use technologies by small and medium-sized businesses in both countries. India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel’s Directorate of Defence Research and Development signed the agreement (DDR&D).
The Bilateral Innovation Agreement aims to “promote innovation and ramped up R&D in both countries’ startups and MSMEs for the advancement of dual-use technologies.” G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence, R&D and Chairman, DRDO, and Daniel Gold, Head of DDR&D, were the pact’s signatories, according to an Indian defense ministry statement.
The Indian statement said that under the terms of the agreement, both countries’ startups and industries will collaborate to develop next-generation technologies and products in areas such as drones, robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, photonics, biosensing, brain-machine interface, energy storage, wearable devices, and natural language processing.” “Products and technologies will be tailored to meet the specific needs of both countries.
It was also stated that the development efforts will be funded jointly by DRDO and DDR&D, Israel. Both countries will be able to use the BIA-developed technologies for domestic purposes. The signing of the pact follows India’s recent high-level visits to Israel. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s foreign minister, and Ajay Kumar, India’s defense secretary, had both visited Israel.
Since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992, relations between India and Israel have steadily improved. Bilateral trade between the two countries is estimated to be around $5 billion per year. Thus according to various estimates, defense trade is worth around $1 billion per year, with India being a substantial buyer of Israeli defense products. However, this is not reflected in regular trade figures.